Behind the Scenes: New Village Shirts

It’s a new semester so you know what that means – new swag! We have a couple of new Albright Entrepreneurs Village residents moving in for the spring, so we wanted to order some new long sleeve t-shirts for them as a welcome gift.

Over the years, we’ve had several shirt iterations. You may remember some of these:


For this semester, I wanted to show you a little “behind the scenes” about how we come up with our ideas and the design process. Anytime we design a marketing piece or giveaway, we make sure it meets these criteria:

1. True to the NC State brand

NC State has a set of branding standards created for the university to achieve design cohesiveness across campus. T-shirts are great marketing materials for the university, so we design our shirts in accordance with the branding standards.

Side note: Anytime you design something, you should be working from a set of branding standards. If these standards don’t exist – create them before you begin designing! Brand equity is an important goal for startups too!

2. Highlights the entrepreneurship theme

As you may have guessed, we’re all about entrepreneurship! We want our designs to reflect that. Throughout our many shirt iterations, we try to make entrepreneurship the focus of our designs.

3. Something you’d want to wear!

Last, but certainly not least, we want to design something you’d want to wear! We strive to create designs that are attractive and exciting. We hope it’s something you’re proud to wear.


Without further ado, let’s talk our latest t-shirt design! There are our latest design, modeled by our lovely marketing assistant, Tanvi.

For this design, we did a bold front with the logo on the back. After throwing several ideas around, I ended up with a hand lettering with the words “NC State Entrepreneur” on the front in the outline of the state of North Carolina. I wanted the style to be distinctive and easily recognizable.







Here’s how I started:

As you can see in the above photo, I started with a printed outline of the state. I layered a clean sheet on top, and drew a grid system to help keep my letters proportional.

I ended up lettering about 25 different options to choose from. While they all looked similar, I was aiming as close to perfect as possible while still maintaining that hand lettered look.

I laid all 25 options out on the floor to pick a favorite (my coworkers thought I was going crazy).

Here’s the winner!

I took some well lit photos, then imported the photo into Adobe Illustrator. A couple of adjustments with the “live trace” tool and we ended up with this:

There you have it! Tell us what you think of the design in the comment section below.

0 responses on “Behind the Scenes: New Village Shirts

  1. jtjordan says:

    Thanks for sharing your design process, Macy!

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